Release: Over One Hundred Coloradans Apply for Naturalization at Citizenship WorkshopCompleting citizenship application marks vital first step toward being full participants and stakeholders in U.S. democracy.
DENVER - Today, the Ya Es Hora Coalition (YEH) of Colorado in partnership with the Colorado Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), EDUCA Radio, and the Denver Public Schools Multicultural Offices, celebrated AILA Citizenship month by conducting a successful naturalization workshop. The goal of the workshop was to provide pro bono legal assistance to help eligible lawful permanent residents apply for U.S. citizenship. Over one-hundred participants completed their applications with the support of over fifty volunteer "citizenship coaches" and AILA volunteer attorneys.
"The message is loud and clear: immigrants are an integral part of the fabric of our Colorado and American communities" said Celia Reyes-Martinez, with Mi Familia Vota and Chair of the Ya Es Hora coalition, "There is no better way to demonstrate our community's patriotism and commitment to this country than by becoming full participants in its democracy. U.S. citizenship and voting are clearly the next steps."
Saturday's workshop was a continued effort by the YEH coalition and AILA since the campaign was launched in July of 2007 in response to the fee increases to apply for citizenship. YEH Colorado has helped over 3,000 legal permanent residents become citizens since launching in 2007.
"The Colorado Chapter of AILA is proud to work with Ya Es Hora to offer a real service to our immigrant communities," stated Aaron Hall, who represents AILA with the workshops, "Helping participants navigate the complex citizenship application process through pro-bono support is a perfect way to honor AILA Citizenship Day in April."
According to recent studies, Colorado is home to over 80,000 legal permanent residents who are eligible for citizenship but have not yet naturalized.
"The citizenship workshops offer a real service to our immigrant community in Colorado," said Blanca Muñoz with SEIU Local 105, a Ya Es Hora coalition member, "We are fully committed to supporting Colorado's immigrant community to promote civic participation, beginning with citizenship."
YEH will host more workshops in July and September 2012. For more information on future workshops, applicants may call the YEH Colorado Hotline: (303) 727-8032.
The Colorado Ya Es Hora ¡Ciudanía! is a collaboration of: Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, SEIU Local 105, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, Together Colorado (formerly Metro Organization for People), Colorado Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Univision/Entravision, and in special partnership with EDUCA Radio and the DPS the multicultural Offices, and the National Partnership for New Americans.